Google and Roku had been in a bitter brawl since last week over alleged ‘antitrust behavior’ on the Mountain View tech giant’s part. In the midst of the public dispute, Roku removed the YouTube app from the channel store, but Google managed to develop a smart-alec workaround. Also Read - UEFA Euro 2020: Colourful Google Doodle kicks off European Football Championship
The tech giant updated the regular YouTube channel on Roku devices with a shortcut to the YouTube TV service thereby making Youtube TV accessible from within the YouTube app. Google in its blog post mentioned that existing members will be able to easily access YouTube TV by clicking on “Go to YouTube TV” in the main YouTube app. Also Read - Android 12 beta 2 rolling out: New privacy features, tweaked design and more
“This update will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku over the next few days, and we will expand to as many devices as we can over time,” Google stated in its blog post. Also Read - Sundar Pichai: 5 interesting facts about Google CEO you never heard before
Notably, following their previous deal expire last week, Roku removed YouTube TV’s dedicated app from its channel store preventing new downloads. While Google saught Roku to commit to increasing the quality of its hardware to support the high-definition content, and Roku didn’t seem to comply. While the latest move has been a setback for Roku, it responded to Google’s workaround by calling the company “an unchecked monopolist.” It even criticized Google’s decision to bundle the services together and cited it to be its “predatory business practices.”
“Google’s actions are the clear conduct of an unchecked monopolist bent on crushing fair competition and harming consumer choice. The bundling announcement by YouTube highlights the kind of predatory business practices used by Google that Congress, Attorney Generals, and regulatory bodies around the world are investigating. Roku has not asked for one additional dollar in financial value from YouTubeTV. We have simply asked Google to stop their anticompetitive behavior of manipulating user search results to their unique financial benefit and to stop demanding access to sensitive data that no other partner on our platform receives today,” Roku responded (via TheVerge).
While a settlement is yet to be made, Google cited that it’s in discussions with other partners as well to secure free streaming devices for its YouTube TV subscribers so that they don’t face any access issues like in Roku. Besides the YouTube squabble, the company said that it is “also in ongoing, long-term conversations with Roku to certify that new devices meet our technical requirements.” While the move has certainly miffed Roku, it will at least help YouTube members to access both the services under one umbrella.